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DNA Tests - Unlocking the Secrets of Neanderthal Man

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DNA tests are continually becoming more and more advanced and a BBC report shows how a DNA breakthrough allowed for a more in-depth understanding of our closest relative: Neanderthal Man.

Hundreds of DNA tests are carried out every day but few caused as many stirs as that which was carried out on a portion of DNA from a genome of a Neanderthal Man living 38,000 years ago. There were a lot of unanswered questions surrounding Neanderthal Man and the DNA tests carried out on this sample went a long way toward answering many of them.

DNA Tests Connecting the Building Blocks of Life

DNA is an undeniably complex material and it is only in recent times that DNA tests have been fully capable of understanding the materials that make up our DNA. In the case of the tests on the Neanderthal Man, the genetic data that scientists were able to harvest from a thigh bone has allowed them to identify over a million of the building blocks of Neanderthal DNA. The scientist in charge of the DNA tests on this Neanderthal Man, Edward Rubin, stated to the BBC that, "The sequence data will serve as a DNA time machine. It will tell us about aspects of Neanderthal biology that we can never get from their bones and associated artefacts."

DNA Tests on Neanderthal Man - The Findings

The DNA tests carried out on this particular Neanderthal Man were particularly important because they gave scientists an unprecedented insight into the lives of our closest ancestors. The DNA tests were so advanced that they could theoretically be used to discover the following facts about Neanderthal Man:

  • Hair Colour
  • Eye and Skin Colouration
  • Whether Capable of Modern Speech
  • Contribution to Modern Gene Pool
  • Neanderthals are said to have died out around 30,000 years ago and with the aid of DNA tests on samples found throughout Europe, we are now gathering a unique insight into how they lived their lives.

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